Nine cases of Sino-foreign trade disputes in fasteners have occurred since the beginning of 2009, says a report in Automobile Parts.
Most recently on October 14, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a notice to launch anti-dumping probes against Chinese exports of standard steel fasteners.
The coastal city of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province is one of the key areas that produce a quarter of fasteners in the country. From January to June of 2009, the fastener products exported from Ningbo to the United States reached $160 million, accounting for one-third of China’s total value of fastener exports.
Currently, more than 30 key fastener enterprises in Ningbo have made a consensus to jointly challenge the U.S. anti-dumping charges against China. In response, they have prepared fact-finding documents based on market investigations and sent them to DOC of the United States on October 25.
According to Mr. Zhang, secretary-general of the Ningbo Fastener Industry Association, China’s fastener exports to the U.S. could amount to $10 billion annually. Once the anti-dumping case is established, fastener production in Ningbo would suffer with shrinking output and profits, forcing 5,000 Chinese workers to leave their jobs.
Local statistics show that in January-August of 2009, Jiaxing City exported fastener products valued at $309.5 million, down 50.91 percent compared the previous year. The fastener exports to Europe and the United States reached $153.06 million, accounting for 49.45 percent of the total. Among them, $79.59 million exported to the U.S. (down 45.14 percent); $58.37 million to the EU (down 71.93 percent); and $15.1 million to Russia (down 69.80 percent), respectively.
As one of the largest fastener exporters to American market, the Jinyi Industrial Co. has decided to respond to every charge accused. Zhapu Industrial, another company, has hired lawyers to deal with the case.
Faced with shrinking international market, China’s fastener enterprises are shifting to supplying the dometic market while defending themselves against U.S. charges. Jinyi Industrial, for instance, has put 80 percent of its capacity onto the domestic market by participating in a number of express railway constructions. Similarly, Zhapu Industrial has turned its fastener products to serve the automotive industry while doing a solid work to upgrade its product quality.
The DOC arbitration on countervailing and anti-dumping is scheduled respectively on December 17, 2009 and March 2, 2010.